Spotters mark eight for arrest
[TamilNet, Friday, 08 May 1998, 23:59 GMT]
Around 700 persons from the villages of Vandaramoolai and Kaluvankerni, 15 km north of Batticaloa, were rounded up and marched to the Vishnu temple at Vandaramoolai during a cordon and search operation by the Sri Lanka Army (SLA), which lasted from 5:00 a.m. till noon, said sources in Valaichenai.
The group included males as well as females. While they were being interrogated by the SLA, a masked spotter was brought to verify the identity of the people who were rounded up.
Eight persons were taken aside for further questioning while the others were released.
The spotters were identified by the public as persons who had been arrested by the SLA two days ago, said sources.
Spotters are mostly Tamils from either the ex-militant organisations or their splinter groups, who function with the SLA to spot persons who are sympathisers and members of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).
There are also members of the general public who work as spotters for the SLA to identify LTTE activists.
However, it is often said that some of these functionaries that they undertake this task to settle old jealousies and scores by identifying innocent persons as LTTE operatives.